It all comes down to Marshall and UAB for the C-USA Championship

Huntington, West Virginia:

Friday night in the Conference USA will see a matchup unlike any other the UAB Blazers will travel to Huntington, West Virginia, to take on the Marshall Thundering Herd in the 2020 CUSA Championship game.

Friday night’s game will be the third straight championship matchup for the Blazers and, with a win over Marshall, it would be the program’s second conference championship in the history of UAB football.

For the Marshall Thundering Herd, they will take to battle with UAB looking to win their 7th conference championship game in program history. The last time Marshall played for a conference championship was back in 2014 when the Thundering Herd defeated Lousiana Tech 26-23.

Friday’s matchup between UAB and Marshall will be the first time these two have met in a conference championship game and the first time since 2014 when Marshall got the upper hand in Birmingham over UAB.

Head Coach of the UAB Blazers, Bill Clark had this to say about preparing for the championship game matchup with Marshall.

” I think the things that have happened to us this year, we have had some losses. We had a heartbreaking loss at Louisiana Tech that we thought we should have won and the Louisiana game where we led. I can’t see anybody ever getting cocky or overconfident. I really can’t. I promise you we are not. We know how games go sometimes. They have everything to prove now. They were bragged on and now everybody is talking about you after you lose. They are going to have a chip on their shoulder. We should have one on our shoulder with plenty to prove. As we get a big group of guys back today, let’s see how we respond. Hopefully, we can keep that mindset of us against the world.”

Head Coach Bill Clark on playing Marshall:

“I have guys tell me that they watch us. I don’t mean that arrogantly. I have a lot of guys say that they watch us all the time and watch what we do. Marshall is a team that I like to watch. They get lined up. They play really hard. They are physical. They are fundamental. They have great athletes over there but they play defense the way it should be played. I think, statistically, they are one of the leaders in the country in scoring defense. That tells you something. They do a really good job defensively with what Doc (Holliday) has done there and Coach Lambert is an excellent coach and an excellent defensive coach. They are just talented all around. I know that sounds like a coach statement, but they really are. If you look at their offensive line. Look at their skill guys and their running back. Offensively, they just have talent all around. I just talked about the quarterback. They have a top defense in the country. They have the people. They are well-coached. You can see why they were undefeated prior to last week.”

Head Coach Bill Clark for UAB had this to say about the challenges his team faces on Friday night trying to contain Grant Wells and the Marshall offense.

For Marshall, they are led by a talented quarterback in Grant Wells. Wells has been the go-to person on this Marshall team throughout the season. Wells and the Marshall offense has put up big numbers including, 262 points.

Head Coach Bill Clark for UAB had this to say about the challenges his team faces on Friday night trying to contain Grant Wells and the Marshall offense.

” For him, from everything I have read, he was a big-time prospect who could have gone about anywhere he wanted to go and chose to stay at Marshall. That is what you want. That is how they see themselves. That is who we see ourselves as: a destination. He has got all the things you look for in a quarterback. He has a big, big arm. He is athletic. He can run. He can stay active. Minus what happened to him last week, he has had an unbelievable year. He has done a really good job. I am sure he will want to prove himself as well.

“I think that is something that we constantly try to do defensively, change our looks up. That is the whole point. The old adage is, if you stay in the same foxhole long enough, you get blown up. We want to be simple enough that our guys get lined up with today’s tempo with multiple formations, yet give you enough looks that they can’t just lock-in. Quarterbacks are so well-schooled now coming out of high school. They are throwing the ball so much more than you have to give them different looks.”

Marshall also has had a standout defense this year, only giving up a combined 91 points throughout the season. Marshall is ranked second in total defense in the country.

The quarterback of the UAB Blazers, Tyler Johnston had this to say about facing the Marshall defense.

“Their defense is good. They have good players with their front line, linebackers, safeties, and everything. It is just another team. That is how we have to think of them. We just have to keep working. This week is going to be a big week. It is a championship week. You don’t go to the championship without knowing it is going to be a good team. It is what it is and we are going to be ready.”

Marshall and UAB will kick off under the lights on Friday night with a 6 P.M. start time and will be televised on the CBS Sports Network.

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